Community mourns loss of Sen. Dave Cox

Flags flying at half mast this week for ‘friend to Folsom’
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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State Sen. Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) passed away Tuesday after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer, according to his family. Cox had been in public service for 18 years. The 72-year-old Cox died at his home according to Nghia Demovic, who worked for the senator. Cox served on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors for six years before being elected to the Assembly, where he served another six years. Six years ago, he was elected to the state Senate, representing the 1st Senate District. Joe Gagliardi, the CEO of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, said Folsom had lost a strong advocate. “He was a wonderful orator and proponent for Folsom,” Gagliardi said. “He will be missed. He was always a great ally to the community (and) his district.” Folsom Mayor Jeff Starsky said the July 13 City Council meeting was held in Cox’s honor. “We will also be flying flags at half mast (through Friday),” Starsky said. “Dave Cox was a legend and he’s been a tremendous friend to Folsom. He’s been the best state senator this city has had. … He was a champion for the city of Folsom.” Doreen Stevens, a Folsom resident, said she was surprised when she heard the news. “He was a great friend to our community,” Stevens said. “It’s shocking. He spoke to local (service) clubs and the Folsom Leadership class. I didn’t even know he was ill.” Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) was saddened to hear of Cox’s passing. “Sen. Dave Cox was a giant public servant in the body of a humble man. He served the people of Sacramento and California with everything he had,” Lungren said. “He was always accessible, always willing to listen. The constituents we shared will miss him greatly and I will miss a great friend.” Lungren said he had a conversation with Cox recently and could tell the senator was ailing. “I had a brief but wonderful conversation with him a few weeks ago. He was working to the very end. He gamely told me that he was at ‘90 percent.’ And I told him that 90 percent of Dave Cox is better than 100 percent of most people,” Lungren said. “I had a funny feeling it might be our last conversation.” Cox was at Folsom Lake College for a small business hearing in January. He sat at the table with Folsom City Councilman Steve Miklos, Assemblyman Roger Niello and El Dorado County Supervisor John Knight. Cox is survived by his wife Maggie and three daughters. The governor’s office is mulling over the timing of a special election to fill Cox’s now-vacant 1st District office. The 1st District sprawls from the Oregon border in the north to Mammoth Lakes in the south, taking in all or parts of 12 counties. Placer County was partly in Cox’s district, including Auburn and Folsom. Gold Country Media's Gus Thomson contributed to this report.